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V-sign photos could give away fingerprint info: expert

By Jiang Jie (People's Daily Overseas New Media)    13:27, September 16, 2019

(Photo: Weibo of actress Yang Mi)

Do you like posing for photos with the V-sign? You may want to think twice the next time you do, because your fingerprints could be stolen from one single photo.

“It is possible to retrace fingerprints at 100% from a V-sign photo taken within 1.5 meters and the rate would remain at 50% if the photo is taken between 1.5-3 meters,” a Chinese expert warned, adding that it becomes hard to extract fingerprints from a photo taken more than 3 meters away.

Once extracted, the fingerprint data could be used to unlock important information or physical property, from your wallet to your house.

The warning from Zhang Wei, a deputy director at Shanghai Information Security Trade Association, shocked many in the audience at a public event held in Shanghai on Sunday during national cybersecurity week.

On Weibo, the discussion regarding the security risks behind V-sign photos has topped 360 million views. Some pointed out that one could not be too careful in the new tech era, where more and more people literally use their bio information as a key, while some also pressed for stricter inspections and punishment on law violations.

However, some experts noted that bio information, such as fingerprint or facial ID, is more than just guardian to your key information or property. According to Pei Zhiyong, a cybersecurity expert with Qi An Xin Group, bio information is indeed easy to copy, which is why you should not rely on it for high security. “No responsible company will use bio information as the sole verification. Manual checks or tech-assisted risk control methods are also necessary,” Pei noted. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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